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Game 27: Mavs at Suns presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

PHOENIX — Bouncing back from demoralizing losses already this season, the Dallas Mavericks entered U.S. Airways Center hungry for a win just 24 hours after falling to a 109-108 overtime defeat on their home floor.

Unable to prevent the Toronto Raptors from erasing a 19-point cushion Friday night at American Airlines Center, the Mavericks would not only be pushed into overtime for the first time this season but they would also suffer a disappointing ending to their three-game homestand. However, with the Phoenix Suns flying high after their come-from-behind 103-99 win Friday in Denver, the Mavs quickly had to put the events of the previous night out of their minds in order to get back on track.

But, while still feeling the effects from Friday, the Mavericks (15-12) couldn’t avoid their  second defeat in as many days, falling to a 123-108 loss to begin their two-game trip on the road.

“I think it was just one of those nights when they couldn’t miss,” Mavs starting 2-guard Monta Ellis said of the loss. “I think every open three they had tonight they made. If they didn’t, they only missed one or two. It was their night. They established the lead and did all the right things to maintain that lead. And they came out with the win.

“We couldn’t worry about last night,” he added. “We had a game in front of us that we thought we could win. They came out and they were the better team tonight.”

Posting a season-high 23 points Friday night in a losing effort, Mavericks point guard Jose Calderon picked right back up where he left off at with a jumper to open the scoring. However, after playing a season-high 43 minutes one night prior and missing his last six shots in the loss, 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki continued to struggle in the early going while the Suns came out clicking on all cylinders.

And with ex-Mav Gerald Green providing 12 points off the Suns’ bench, the Mavericks limped into second period down 13, 38-25.

“We got a bad start, which is never good, especially on the road,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle admitted. “I used three timeouts in the first quarter, which isn’t good either. Hey, it’s a 48-minute game and we’ve got to be better from start to finish.”

Once down 15 after allowing the Suns (16-10) to successfully swish in seven 3-pointers in the opening quarter, the Dallas defense tried to rise to the occasion in the second. Nowitzki then finally found the bottom of the net, raining in a jumper to make it a 40-31 score after missing his first five shot attempts.

Ellis did his best to keep the Mavs in the game from there, working alongside Nowitzki and big man Brandan Wright to bring the Mavericks to within two. Still, after a furious close to the first half, the Mavs entered the intermission trailing by five, 63-58.

Led by 34 combined points from the trio of Ellis, Nowitzki and Wright on a combined 12-of-25 shooting, the Mavs stayed in the game. However, behind Green’s 19 first-half points, the Suns’ 51.2 percent shooting as team bettered the Mavericks’ 46 percent through two quarters, including 8 of 16 from behind the arc to neutralize Dallas’ 34-16 points in the paint advantage.

With Wright starting the second half at center over DeJuan Blair, Carlisle looked for his team to make a stand in the third quarter. But instead the Suns would again jump out to a double-digit lead, taking a 73-62 advantage on P.J. Tucker’s corner 3-pointer to force a Carlisle timeout with 9:20 left in the period.

“Nothing really worked whatever we threw at them,” Nowitzki said as the Mavs’ defense had no answer for the Suns’ attack all night long.

He added: “We just never really consistently got any traction to make this a game.”

The Mavs would hold their ground, though, quickly responding with a 7-0 spurt to get back into the game. But, after responding to an 8-0 Phoenix run once again, the Mavericks couldn’t avoid facing an uphill climb while entering the fourth down nine, 91-82.

Answering a 3-pointer by Marcus Morris with a trey of his own to open the final 12 minutes of play, Mavs sixth man Vince Carter then turned back the clock with a vintage two-handed slam to bring the visiting team within seven with 11:02 still on the clock. But the Mavericks wouldn’t have an answer defensively for the Suns’ hot shooting from the perimeter at the other end of the floor. Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe then began to close the Mavs out, spinning in the lane to lift the home team to a 119-105 lead with a score over Calderon.

The Suns wouldn’t look back from there as Carlisle soon sat his main contributors.

“I mean, I think we did a great job of getting ourselves back into the game and giving ourselves an opportunity. The biggest thing is they stayed the course, they kept hitting and kept making shots,” Carter explained. “I mean, I think we did a great job of making them take contested twos. … I think our discipline on defense broke down. We gave up some threes that they started to hit late and we were hoping that they weren’t going to make late. … They just did a great job of staying the course and they made shots all night.”

Finishing the night 7 of 17 from the field and 1 of 6 from 3-point range, Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 21 points and six rebounds. Off the bench, Wright added 19 points to match Ellis’ scoring output, while the cat-quick guard dished out nine assists. Carter pitched in 14 points and four-time All-Star Shawn Marion made it five Mavericks in double figures with 10 points in the first unit.

Scoring 25 points in a 9-of-12 shooting performance, Bledsoe led five Suns in double figures. The Suns outshot the Mavs on the night as well, 51.2 percent to 48.4 percent, connecting on 15 of 30 from behind the arc and adding a 45-36 rebounding advantage. Phoenix also overcame its 18 turnovers, which led to 20 Dallas points, forcing the Mavs into 11 giveaways that led to 15 points for the Suns.

“They’re a good offensive team and they were making shots,” Carlisle confessed. “We didn’t do enough to make it tough enough on them, so rough night. They shot 51 percent and they won three out of four quarters, and so it’s going to be hard to win.”

“They’re a good team. They’ve been showing it all year,” Nowitzki concluded. “They’ve got two great playmakers who get in the lane, and they’re surrounded by shooting and athleticism. They’re a good team.”

Note: The Mavericks will now head to Houston for a third of four regular-season meetings against the Southwest Division rival Rockets. The two teams are tied in the season series 1-1 with both winning on their home floor. The game will air locally Monday night on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Thursday when they play host to the Southwest Division rival San Antonio Spurs. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting


Dallas Mavericks
Shawn Marion, F325-110-10-023501012-2110
Dirk Nowitzki, F307-171-66-615610112-921
DeJuan Blair, C103-40-00-000011000-86
Monta Ellis, G378-170-23-513493052-1619
Jose Calderon, G304-51-20-003361102-199
Brandan Wright288-100-03-424610401-1219
Vince Carter255-111-53-401140213-714
Jae Crowder163-80-12-34261102148
Shane Larkin130-20-00-00002001040
Samuel Dalembert60-30-00-02130000150
Wayne Ellington40-20-00-00110300040
Bernard James11-10-00-11010000102
Gal Mekel10-00-00-00000000000
Devin Harris00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
44-913-1717-23132336251081115 108
Phoenix Suns
PJ Tucker, F256-142-32-3437410221716
Channing Frye, F256-144-62-2448000132418
Miles Plumlee, C283-40-00-02680001086
Goran Dragic, G325-130-43-3336520232313
Eric Bledsoe, G379-123-44-404461032425
Gerald Green286-104-86-601121114122
Markieff Morris274-80-21-21561204329
Marcus Morris213-72-30-00441101348
Archie Goodwin92-40-02-210100031-86
Ish Smith10-00-00-00000000000
Dionte Christmas10-00-00-00000000000
Viacheslav Kravtsov10-00-00-00000000100
Alex Len00-00-00-00000000000
Emeka Okafor00-00-00-00000000000
44-8615-3020-2215304519811822 123

PHOENIX — As both squads get set to play the second outings of back-to-backs, the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns enter Saturday night’s showdown from completely different ends of the spectrum.

Sprinting to a 19-point lead before watching seemingly helplessly as it dwindled away in the first half, the Mavericks (15-11) would be pushed into overtime for the first time this season by the Toronto Raptors. The Mavs then concluded their three-game homestand with a disappointing 109-108 overtime defeat, after missing their final four shots.

“It went wrong in the first half,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said while summing up the loss. “We built a big lead, and then we had breakdowns and we had too many mistakes. They chewed into the lead very quickly. It’s hard to build a 19-point lead in this league. You have to play well and you have to do a lot of things on both sides of the ball. To give up the lead that easy gave them a lot of life, and they outlasted us.”

“I mean, we’ve got to be the team that loses leads quicker than any other team in the league,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki added after the Mavs also dropped games earlier this season at Atlanta and Golden State when leading by 17 and 18, respectively. “We gave up a 19-point lead within a couple of minutes. You know, you’ve got to be more solid. … We’ve got to learn if we do have a lead to keep it a little longer and not lose it within three or four minutes.”

Vice versa, the Suns (15-10) return home beaming after a valiant comeback in Denver, overcoming a 21-point deficit in the first half Friday night before rallying for a 103-99 victory. And if the Mavs are going to quickly bounce back on the road, where they are just 4-8 this season, correcting the mistakes from Friday’s loss will be paramount.

Despite outshooting the Raptors, 50.5 percent to 46.2 percent, the Mavericks would lose a 46-45 rebounding battle. A 60-40 advantage in points in the paint also went in vain, after the Mavs’ 17 turnovers translated to 32 points at the other end of the floor for the Raptors.

“Bad offense and bad mistakes led to catastrophic plays that are unguardable,” Carlisle said of his team’s giveaways. “It’s a recipe for failure, turning it over that much and having them get that many points off of turnovers.”

The Mavs will look for more efficient play Saturday, facing a Phoenix team that has won six of its last seven outings.

Note: The Mavericks head to Phoenix on the second night of a back-to-back, taking on the Suns in Saturday’s showdown. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 8 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Thursday when they play host to the Southwest Division rival San Antonio Spurs. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting